Town Halls

Before the Court

Supreme Court Term in Review

For this town hall Dr. John C. Eastman is joined by three of our own John Marshall Fellows to discuss cases from the 2016-17 Supreme Court term.

To discuss Murr v. Wisconsin, Dr. Eastman is joined by Anastasia Boden, a 2015 John Marshall Fellow. Ms. Boden is an attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, working on the Economic Liberty Project where she challenges anti-competitive occupational licensing laws, and laws that restrict the freedom of speech. In this case, the Murr family is challenging a broad reading of the already-erroneous legal precedent established in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York in 1978, which made it nearly impossible for property owners to win compensation when state regulations take their property. This case was decided June 23, 2017.

Next, to discuss Matal v. Tam and Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, we are joined by Michael Huston, a 2014 John Marshall Fellow, who is an associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Huston served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts. Matal v. Tam involves the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s denial of the trademark application of the Asian rock music group, “The Slants,” because their name was found to be disparaging. In Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, merchants were forbidden to truthfully notify customers that use of a debit or credit card would result in a “surcharge.” The Court addressed whether the the First Amendment protects these types of speech.

And to discuss Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, Dr. John Eastman is joined by Dr. Sohan Dasgupta, a 2016 John Marshall Fellow who is currently clerking for Judge David Faber of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia and he will clerk for Judge Consuelo Callahan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dr. Dasgupta served as executive editor (symposium issue) of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. In this case, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources denied a state grant to resurface a playground at a child learning center in Missouri solely because the center is operated by a church. In 2014 the district court ruled against Trinity Lutheran, as did the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Eighth Circuit. The case was argued before the Supreme Court on April 19, 2017.

Dr. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. He served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas in 1996-97. Dr. Eastman currently serves as the chairman for the National Organization for Marriage.